How Marvel’s Black Panther Will Bring Respect To Superhero Films

There are superheroes like Captain America, Batman, Green Arrow, Superman, Wolverine, Iron-Man…Hulk.

And then there is Black Panther.

He isn’t a science experiment. He isn’t a Super Soldier. He isn’t an X-Man. He is no Billionaire Playboy. He is no Alien.

He is a King.

King T’Challa of Wakanda.

A man who pours hot wax on his enemies and stamps regal authority.

And he isn’t no clichéd White man nor is he a coloured man living in some adopted nation. He is T’Challa. He is the king of the world’s most technologically advanced nation. He is a man who is well versed in numerous languages. He is sound in his arguments and boasts superior intelligence to his peers. He is an alumni of the world’s most prestigious universities and leader of the Panther clan.

He is Black Panther. He is no loony superhero with a vengeance or a twisted definition of justice wearing tights and prancing around running away from authorities. He is a king. And people often forget this.

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Christopher Priest, one of the comic book greats, had a long run on Black Panther. As the third volume of this iconic king of Wakanda, Priest penned Black Panther (62 issues, 1998-2003) and gave T’Challa real substance. An unmatched respect amongst Earthlings. Even the mighty Thor has to yawp and remind people who he is…an Asgardian Prince..and people still take him for granted. But never with T’Challa. He calls the Avengers his friends but is never really part of the superhero band. He never plays anyone’s tune. He marches on his own leitmotif.

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Hence, the Black Panther film will be really important to not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but to the image of Comic Book Movies itself. It will bring respect to the comic book industry. And we have Christopher Priest’s excellent character development to thank for.

And I’m really glad that Marvel respect the work done by Priest and in that honour they have soundly cast Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. Chadwick is a classy actor. He knows how to carry himself around. Having been the star of two acclaimed biopics, one concerning an African-American’s struggle and overcoming of racial segregation in early 1900’s America…it is commendable that Marvel saw in him the King and quickly declared him as the Black Panther.

The Black Panther storyline itself is a game changer. Aye, there have been several superheroes of coloured origin in comic books. But have any of them really stood out of the clichés that surround their races? I do not think so. There have been Muslim superheroes and superheroines, and African-Americans, and several others….but they’ve all given off a vibe of *O yeah…we are here to fill the equality vacuum*. It is only the Black Panther who really commands true and untainted authority. Intelligence. He is a brilliant character. He is a hard act to follow, someone who is worthy to look up to.

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Let me brief you on his history.

The Black Panther comics are very gritty in the manner that they are political and social in nature. They deal with the issues of inequality, rights of the commonwealth and other matters that concern the people. It is semi noir in nature and intelligently written.

T’Challa is the king of Wakanda, a fictional African nation the size of New Jersey. Wakanda – in Marvel Universe – is the most technologically advanced nation on earth. It is the only source of the magic metal Vibranium; the aforementioned metal has absorbing abilities, also it is impenetrable. Any blow against the metal leads to the metal absorbing the vibrations and the force that comes with the impact and strengthening itself even more. Captain America’s shield is made of the same metal, acquired by Iron Man’s father Howard Stark, albeit in questionable circumstances. It is also the same metal that the evil AI Ultron is made of.

Apart from being a mine for Vibranium, Wakanda boasts technological advancement in several aspects of science, medicine, security and engineering. Wakandan engineers are pure geniuses. Wakanda is respected and feared all over the world…it is always hidden from foreigners…just a wee less than Attilan…and has a tight foreign policy.

The people of Wakanda do not trust foreigners easily….and rightly so. They say the outside world is corrupted beyond repair and has not only forgotten basic morality but has also sadly forsaken humanity. They like to keep their country a safe haven for good will. Captain America loves it there.

T’Challa was crowned when he was just 14. His father T’Chaka died at the hands of Ulysses Klaw, T’Challa’s arch-nemesis played by Andy Serkis of Gollum/Smeagol fame in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

T’Challa had received super strength, agility and immensely sharp senses through the consumption of a rare flower’s extracts. He was also anointed leader of the Panther clan, a spiritual and military faction of Wakanda, revered by one and all therein.

Hence, he has no superhero costume. The cat-suit he wears is a ceremonial garb and his name Black Panther is a title bestowed unto him by the sacred Panther Spirits.

T’Challa is a calculating man; he is a philanthropist, a scientist, an engineer, a martial artist, and a man boasting an I.Q equal to Sherlock Holmes. He is a clairvoyant solely through practice. He foresees politics and danger much before it is executed.

He is uncompromising in his values. He is a man who is all about staying true to his values and ethics. He is focused, resolute and unwavering.

He is often unrestrained when he puts his mind to something. He never issues an apology for controversial decisions that need to be taken in times of turmoil. He looks to the greater good, always counting potential casualty.

Such a hero…a king of an African nation unspoilt by any invasion from the west, a man whose nation stands on its own feet with no aid from any outside source. A hero who needn’t run away or hide from any authority; a man who isn’t an alien to earth, a man who is someone from amongst us yet superior.

boseman1-the-black-panther-chadwick-boseman-speaks He is a hero movie-goers do not need, but a hero we all truly deserve. It will be a delight to see Chadwick Boseman deal with the likes of the determined loyalist Hunter, the looney psychopathic schizophrenic murdering usurper Achebe and his arch nemesis, foe of his kin, slayer of the king, robber of his father’s soul, treacherous ambitious selfish man of heartless science: Ulysses Klaw.

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And aye…it will be a lot of fun to see our very dear Mister Ross too. (I smiled). Ross is the narrator of Black Panther’s adventures and exploits in the comic books written by Christopher Priest. He is a White House representative, an Oxford alumni who is a wunderkid, a strong lawyer…but also a geeky, nerdy, half shy-half cocky happy go lucky doof, a personal ambassador and representative of the United States to King T’Challa…and a great, loyal and adorable friend. He is Peter Parker with an acute angle. I cannot wait to see who is cast in that particular role. He is will be the comedy catalyst for the grim and rarely smiling T’Challa. Marvel films need to have comedy as must…and he is that doofus sidekick who will provide us with a ton of that.

Whatever storyline or storylines are used as inspirations for the live-action adaptation, it will be revolutionary. It is a shame that I need to wait till 2017 for the film. So long…so very long to wait.

~ Zalysar Cuvegis


Arrow Season 3 Episode 10 Review: The Curious Case of Oliver Queen


How did that happen you ask? How did Oliver Queen return from the dead? How did he survive a Scimitar violating through his lower chest? How did he survive an easy 100 feet fall onto hard rock in harsh winter?

In retrospect, the CGI messed it up in the death scene. The blade clearly went through his lower chest but the prosthetic wounds in this episode show the blow a bit below. Anyway, he is dead as coal. And he ain’t blowin’ hot.

Over the winter break, after the shocking 9th episode, we all speculated…and specifically we all comic geeks were hell bent on on one theory; that when the show returns and consequently so does The Arrow, we will see him scuba dive in the Lazarus Pit. After all, that is the only realistic (in comic terms) explanation to his non-zombified neo-arrow toting-Jesus Christ return from the grave without a tombstone.

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And in this episode, throughout its airing – and before the conclusion – we were seeing almost all of our theories come true.

A) We were excited that Oliver will be gone for a long while and that we will have Ray Palmer and Arsenal suit up for a few episodes and kick some serious ass and have limelight on them.

B) We were excited to finally have the Canary back as Laurel.

C) We were excited that all the Oliver’s corpse dragging will continue up to the Lazarus Pit.

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But no.

While we yet do not know when Oliver will finally return to Starling City – which does not look so starling right now with tons of convicts on permanent release – we do know that we won’t have too much of Atom and Arsenal and Canary being under the theatre lights gaining all the applause.

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But the most disappointing aspect of the episode was…the reveal. With the standard flashbacks I was half expecting for things to go down south from our speculation city.

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And we got what we don’t deserve in the end: It was Katana who brought Oliver back to life. I simply do not know how she managed to do that, but she did it without giving Oliver a warm bath in the magic waters.

What a bummer.

Now I’m waiting for the next episode – as we see in the promo some ass kicking by the Canary. Boy, she learnt the moves under Wildcat!

I expected Oliver to make a late return though…but we cannot always have what we wish for…do we?

Arrow returns next week with the grand reveal: How Oliver did a Coulson and hi5ed Agents of Shield.

~ Zalysar Cuvegis

Here’s Why The Suicide Squad Will Make For An Excellent Film.

Superhero team-ups are all cool and exciting, be it Justice League or the Avengers. But, come on…they bring a lot of melodrama and goody two shoes emotions with them. Well, technically the Avengers are less on the melodrama than the Justice League…anyway must not get into the Marvel vs DC conflict.

Then you have normal heist movie team-ups like the Fast & The Furious series. Well, they are raunchy and fun. But what truly makes for a totally bad-ass team up? Supervillains!

And the Suicide Squad is the raunchiest super powered team up one could assemble.

What have we here? Deadshot, Rick Flagg, Boomerang, Enchantress, Harley frickin’ Quinn and…the Joker!

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So, the 1st reason for Suicide Squad’s success is: Harley and the Joker together.


They are played by Margot Robbie and Jared Leto…two excellent actors who have the right looks, ample eccentricity and the charisma to pull it off.


I have already mentioned how Jared Leto is the perfect Joker. His immaculate Joker laugh, his facial features, his lanky frame and his success at being a great method actor…he is a showman…an eccentric showman, and isn’t that what the Joker is all about?


Margot Robbie. She is a beauty with the right amount of crazy in her. I remember there was a scene in The Wolf of Wall Street..when she speaks exactly like Harley Quinn…eerie right? When she was conversing with Leonardo di Caprio, teasing him.


I cannot wait to see the two hit it off on screen. Filming for the Suicide Squad starts in April this year. And the film releases in August 2016, a perfect birthday gift for me!

Then there are the other aspects of the Suicide Squad. A chance to see a band of villains with fiery egos trying to work together while creating a grand spectacle of destruction….don’t we love supervillain team-ups? All those fanboys at Screenrant saying this film will bomb are fools. This film will be a runaway success!

I want to see Harley being Harley…I hope any of you readers are reading the ongoing Harley Quinn series…there are 13 chapters out already and a Christmas special too. That Christmas one is a treat, if you know what I mean.

Secondly, I like Will Smith as Deadshot. As opposed to fanboys complaining over the change of race, Floyd Lawton in Batman: Assault on Arkham wasn’t exactly a Caucasian fellow and he looked similar to Will Smith. So, we mustn’t be complaining.

Rick Flagg and Boomerang will both be great conflict makers; they will have their very own squabbles and contests with Deadshot.

The Enchantress is a sexy one, though I do not mean Harley is any less sexy. But, it will be refreshing to see a magical element to the DC Cinematic Universe. I think she will have traits of Poison Ivy as well.

Thirdly, it is David Ayer directing. If anyone has seen Fury, they will know how good Ayer is at assembling rag tag mercenaries. And he knows how to choreograph his fight scenes. He loves assemble films and films with guns. Its his treat and he will share the goods with us gleefully. The film is in safe hands. Fury was an awesome film to watch. Ayer is both directiing and writing the script for the film. I am glad.

Fourthly, there will be a Batman cameo! Heck, if anyone has seen Assault on Arkham it could mean that it would be more than just a cameo for Batfleck. How bloody cool is that!

Fifthly, we will see this directly tie in with the future movies, with a potential brief conflict between The Joker and Batman.

I am losing my breath with nerdgasms right now.

Sixthly, there will be a cameo from Lex Luthor.

And Seventhly: Amanda Waller. Her name is enough.

To conclude, I think this will be the most entertaining DC film in the entire DC Universe…not grim and sombre and  tense, it’d be badass…with real badasses helming it.

Bring on the Suicide Squad Amanda Waller!

~ Zalysar Cuvegis

Jared Leto Is The Joker From The Killing Joke (And He Has Fulfilled Our Sadistic Desires)

Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger have all played the Joker to great success, and I respect them for their hard work. Poor Heath lost his life in the process, may he rest in peace.

But, I’ve always been terribly annoyed by the fact that there has never been a single movie interpretation of the Joker exactly like the Joker of Detective Comics.


We have never seen a lanky, lithe, slim faced, long jawed crazed diva version of the Joker ever. Personally, I do not accept a Joker who doesn’t look like the Joker. We’ve always had stout, broad faced and old jokers. It is irksome.

Thankfully, DC has finally answered our wants. And has given us Jared Leto the Joker. Jared Leto’s Joker is literally the singlemost awesomest thing in DC Cinematic Universe I am terribly terribly impatient to see. And the reasons for it are more than just valid. I want to see him pull off a Killing Joke joker in a Killing Joke film adaptation. I insist that The Killing Joke be adapted…this is the best time for it to be adapted. Jared Leto is the Joker, Ben Affleck is Batman.


Jared Leto is:

a) Lanky and Lithe

b) Has played a nasal voiced Diva (Rayon in Dallas Buyers’ Club, the role that landed him an Oscar)

c) Is an eccentric showman

d) Has that slim face and long jaw and

e) Laughs exactly like the Joker.

It is truly obligatory then for every Joker fan and yet to be fan to eagerly anticipate The Joker’s reveal come August 2016 in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Or mayhap we will have him much before that through set photos, promotional photos and videos and teasers. 2016 cannot get better for DC!

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We finally have the Joker in our midst, and he will be the very embodiment of the Clown Prince of Crime. He will be regarded as the greatest Joker to ever grace live action. He is a brilliant method actor who transforms himself completely for the designated role: example Rayon.

And here is Jared Leto laughing exactly like Joker in this 14 second clip from a 2009 film.

~ Zalysar Cuvegis